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Kenyans looking for jobs abroad to be insured

Thousands of workers seeking jobs overseas will soon enjoy insurance as government moves to improve the welfare of citizens abroad.

Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) chief executive Godfrey Kiptum said on Friday that the country wants to replicate models in countries such as Ethiopia, which have rolled out the cover.

Mr Kiptum said the cover will complement efforts to expand insurance cover for vulnerable Kenyans, many of who go for overseas house work amid rising cases of human rights violation.

“This is something we’re working on in cooperation with other government bodies,” Mr Kiptum said but gave no further details .

Many migrant workers in the informal sector miss out on social protection programmes, such as public health cover, making them vulnerable.

Speaking in Nairobi during the fourth UNEP-PSI (Principles of Sustainable Insurance) forum, Mr Kiptum said the insurance is part of the efforts to deepen penetration by bringing in vulnerable people.

Business models

UNEP-PSI was convened last week to discuss what insurers can do to ensure they adopt practices that can embed their business models to Sustainable Development Goals.

It was not immediately clear if government will pump in money to ensure the targeted people pay discounted premiums.

ZEP Re chief executive Hope Murera said a similar programme has successfully worked in Ethiopia where the reinsurer covers domestic workers headed to the Middle East.

“In Zambia, we’re partnering with government over the same. Insurance is the missing link in the financial inclusion agenda,” Ms Murera said.

Well-paid work

The planned cover comes on the backdrop of more Kenyans citizens migrating to especially the Middle East for job opportunities.

Between March 2019 and January this year, 29,448 Kenyan migrant workers were cleared to work in Saudi Arabian homes.

Many Kenyans go overseas in search of well-paid work and to escape joblessness at home. They are to be found in most parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Latin America , the Caribbean and Oceania.